Got Mentor? Your Best Ally

- February 1, 2012

Action Wednesday/People

Hello again, I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, where business takes shape. Welcome back to our blog. Today we are going to talk about something very important, at least it is in my career and I think it will be in yours, and that’s a mentor. We’ll get to that in just a second.

I want to ask, how are your marketing skills coming along? You’ve been following Once a Day Marketing for a little bit. You’ve been thinking about how to be smarter, you’ve been thinking about strategy, action, reconnaissance, and our digital Friday. I hope little by little you’ve been carving out more market share for your businesses, penetrating the marketing a little more. Maybe taking a little bit of work back from your competitor. Stick with us because over the long haul that will be the case.

Today’s topic is called “Got Mentor? Your Best Ally”

I am lucky. I have two fantastic mentors in my life: Chuck and Jim. They both hail from major marketing and branding businesses. They are the nicest men in the world and have assisted me time and again. I owe so much to them.

I hope in your quest to find a mentor you find somebody that will really take an interest in you and your business and provide you with good advice. It’s very tough to go it alone. As an entrepreneur, I’ve been doing that a long time. You might be an entrepreneur but even if you are in an organization sometimes it feels like you are all alone. Sometimes it’s tough to make the right decision. Perhaps you should be going off in a different marketing direction. Perhaps you have to let an employee go. Should you borrow money? Should you let somebody invest in your company? There are all sorts of decisions you have to make as a small business owner, as an entrepreneur, or, even running a non-profit organization, and a good mentor can advise and support your decisions.

What makes a great mentor? It’s good to have someone who can provide you insight and guidance. They need to be “smart.” By smart I mean within your business space. The more they understand your business arena, the better advice they can give. More importantly they need to be honest. They are not just there to give you a nice polite pat on the back. They need to be very sincere and give you credible advice. If you are able to find that person, then you have someone to celebrate with when you have successes but you also have someone to commiserate with when you are facing challenges.

Just how do you find a mentor? Start close to you and work out. You already have friends, family members and business acquaintances. My recommendation is that as you start looking around your “neighborhood” that you seek somebody who has broad knowledge, preferably in the space that you are working in. You may not find that expert, but the more they understand what you are trying to do, the better advisor they can be for you.

Now that you are building your network through LinkedIn and meeting people via networking events, you can start tapping into people you don’t necessarily know so well. Believe me, they are going to be flattered if you were to approach them in a very professional manner and suggest some sort of mentoring relationship. I have been approached that way a couple of times and I’ve said “yes.”  It’s rewarding to assist individuals to become more successful. I’ve got a sneaky feeling if you ask, you will get a positive result. Remember this simple rule: The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask.

There might even be people out there that you haven’t quite found but you can seek them out through your LinkedIn network and through your other sources if you believe that they will be a good mentor for you. And once again, asking them is a compliment, they may be very busy and they might say no but what if they said yes? Then you have a really great ally/mentor supporting your efforts.

You can see now why I now believe it’s a good idea to have a mentor. The right person for you is out there. I’m sure you’ll find them readily if you make the effort. Then you’ll have somebody to celebrate the highs and evaluate the lows with. Perhaps someday you’ll be a mentor. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone knocked on your door and said “hey, would you help me?” You pay it forward and say “yes, I’d be glad to be your mentor.”

That’s our blog for the day at Once a Day Marketing. I hope you join us tomorrow for Recon Thursday. I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, where business takes shape. We’ll see you next time.

James Glover: (505) 501-1330 or